Friday, December 10, 2010

Why I Like the Kindle 3. A Review.

The Kindle 3 was a birthday gift.

The truth is, I did not know if I would use the Kindle after the initial blush of newness wore off. At fifty-eight years old, I don’t make transitions as easily as I once did. And reading is not as easy as it once was.

But the price is right at $139 for the wifi-only version, and we thought it was worth the risk.

Three months later: I have been using it and I like it.

Here’s what I Like:
  1. It is easy to read in daylight, the text is crisp, and the font size and line leading is adjustable. All of that makes reading easier than a book -- especially for older eyes.
  2. Books, magazines, and newspapers can be wi-fi or 3G downloaded in seconds. Many classic books are free. This seems almost too good to be true -- but it’s true and it works great. Books for purchase are less expensive than the same book in print.
  3. The InstaPaper web app makes “Read later” possible on the Kindle. Love it.
  4. Portable, well constructed, and the page movement buttons are large with just the right amount of tactile response.
  5. Every book you are reading opens wherever you stopped reading.
  6. Newspaper subscriptions arrive every morning, rain or shine, and remain in archive. Currently subscribing to the Fort Worth Star Telegram and Investor's Business Daily.
  7. Amazon website is very good for Kindle users.
  8. The battery life is reported at 10 days. That seems about right. The USB charger can be used at a normal house outlet or from your PC.
  9. Storage capacity is more than I will ever use.
  10. Light weight and fits in a large jacket pocket.
  1. The experimental browser is very experimental. It's not exactly worthless, but it's close.
  2. The Wall Street Journal / Kindle edition is more expensive than the print edition and is incomplete compared to the print edition.
  3. The five-way cursor-mover button could be bigger and a little more responsive. It’s the button most often used and it’s the least user-friendly.
  4. Getting in and out of books and newspapers can be a little tedious and cursoring down a list of books is cumbersome. We’re spoiled by the cursor movement of the PC and touch screen products.  This is definitely a step backwards.
Suggestions if you buy:
  1. Get the leather case with the light built in if you plan on reading at night a lot.
  2. Read through the Kindle Guide book. There are helpful keyboard functions that make it even a better tool.
  3. Set up your Amazon profile and get familiar with it.
It’s not back lit. I knew it wasn’t backlit but I still expected to be able to read it in the dark without a light. I know that’s stupid. But if you want backlit reading take a good look at one before you buy.
After a lifetime of reading with a printed and bound book it takes some adjustment just holding an e-book. It’s hard to explain unless you have used one. The leather holder helps because it has the same book feel.

Not Yet Tried
The Kindle 3 can be used for audio-books and has an earphone jack.. Have not tried.

The portability, ease of use, storage capacity, price, and eye-friendly screen and typefaces make the Kindle a keeper product for me.

If you use a Nook, Kindle, iPad, or other e-reader and have an opinion on their usefulness, please comment.



John said...

Very interesting and it makes me think that some day I'll try one. But I've been saying I'll get a smart phone for two years.

Jake Good said...

I have an iPad and a Nook. I've read faster and more often on my Nook.

The iPad is tough because it's heavier than a book or a Nook. Dr. Seuss!

I will say though, I've been going back and forth between a real book and the Nook. Sometimes I wanted the feel of a good book, which will not go away anytime soon.

Get one, read some books on it and keep buying physical books too...

Also a con: You have to shut the damn thing off during takeoff and landing on a plane.

You don't notice it until you start flying a lot and get into the book at the gate or during the plane ride.

Francis Shivone said...

Jake / John --

I was surprised when I had to turn off the Kindle at take-off. But it was more convenient than a newspaper in the actual flight.

I think I read that Amazon is now selling more e-books than printed books, a trend that will probably never turn the other way.

But, nothing quite like a quality hardbound book for comfort and readability.